Coronavirus Updates

This page presents information and updates about directives, closings and cancellations, and other changes related to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. They come from from the town Office of Emergency Management and other sources. “Resources” includes related web pages for the state, Centers for Disease Control, the federal government and others. Under each tab the most recent updates are listed first.

Emergency Services: 911
Selectmen’s Office: 860-542-5829
Town Clerk’s Office: 860-542-5679
Transfer Station hours (Questions: 860-542-5829)
Post Office: 860-542-5087

This tab lists changes made by the local institutions and essential businesses that are still open or have made other arrangements to deliver their services. For a list and contact information for Norfolk organizations, institutions and businesses please see the Directory on this website.

 

The Berkshire Country Store has changed its hours to Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is also limiting purchases to credit card only (service charge if below a $5 minimum) and its register is inside the front door. An associate will be available to give you a virtual tour of the shelves if need be.
4/6/20

The Norfolk Early Learning Center is no longer enrolling new students.
4/6/20

April is Norfolk Cleanup Month. Instead of gathering for one Cleanup Day, the Community Association asks everyone to participate by themselves for the entire month. Get out and clean up your street or favorite Norfolk places, while keeping a safe distance and enjoying some fresh air. Do what you can, when you can and help keep Norfolk picture perfect!
4/2/20

Many municipal meetings have been canceled, but others, such as the selectmen’s meeting, will still take place, most likely online. For available updates, see the Meetings page on this website.
4/2/20

The Norfolk Land Trust has canceled its spring trail cleanup and postponed the bird walk originally scheduled for April 25.
4/2/20

Message to the Community from Regional 7: The Regional 7 Board of Education chair and superintendent have issued an update on work being done by the school during the coronavirus pandemic, including distance learning and the lunch and breakfast program (available in Winsted). They also describe several outreach efforts developed by the members of the school community. For example, one student has invited students and families to create cards, picture, poems and small paintings to be sent to residents at local nursing homes; she supplied suggestions and addresses. For the full message, click here.
3/31/20

All Dandelion Cottage‘s live classes, workshops and group meetings are suspended. Online classes begin in April. Go to dandelioncottagedesign.com to sign up for “NOTES from Dandelion Cottage” to receive monthly schedule for all classes, FB Lives, meetings and more. Group meetings will be held on Zoom at the regularly scheduled times.
3/30/20

Norbrook Farm Brewery is maintaining the same tasting room hours but only serving to-go orders. You can order online, by phone or in person.
3/30/20

The Mountain View Green Retreat is open to guests (hotels are essential services). However, the Manor House Inn is closed until April 8; it is still making future reservations and selling gift certificates.
3/30/20

The Governor has extended school closings until April 22. Phase One of distance learning at Botelle School was put into place on March 16. Teachers prepared and distributed individualized paper packets and devices to be used until the end of March. Phase Two of distance learning will begin on April 1. Teachers and staff are planning short lessons of live, virtual instruction with continued assignments in reading, math and writing in addition to PE, library, art and music. We will be using Google Meet for the live portion of instruction and interactive platforms like Google Classroom (in the intermediate grades) and See Saw (in all grades) for assignments.
3/24/20

Husky Meadows Farm will continue to offer CSA shares for the full season (June to October), the summer season (July & August) as well as offer our VIP debit cards for use at the farm or at the Norfolk Farmers Market. The public can sign up online at our website. We also offer a sliding scale and installment payment plans. Our harvest season will begin mid-May. As the harvest approaches, we will consider home delivery for both our CSA shares and our VIPs.
3/24/20

Meals for students are being offered during school shutdown by EdAdvance Food Service, which is working in collaboration with Region 7, Torrington and Winchester Public Schools. Meals will be provided at two locations in the area, Vogel-Wetmore School, located at 68 Church Street in Torrington, and Pearson Middle School, located at 2 Wetmore Avenue in Winsted. Meals will be provided in a drive-through fashion at both sites Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Any child 18 or under will be provided a Grab and Go bag lunch for that day and a breakfast for the next morning. Questions may be directed to Becky Tyrrell, Food Service Director, at 860-567-0863 ext. 1148.
3/23/20

Botelle School: Per the State of Connecticut and the Department of Education, school closures have been extended to April 22. Our school calendar will be followed for holidays, vacations and the last day of school. That means we will have April vacation as scheduled and the last day of school for students is June 12. Work has been prepared by our teachers and sent home to children to complete. In the meantime, staff is preparing for distance learning.
3/23/20

Services at the Church of Christ Congregational are being posted on the church’s Facebook page at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday. People are encouraged to join in at 10 a.m. via Facebook and interact with other viewers. Once the video is posted, it may be viewed at any time. *** No public masses are being celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. However, the church sanctuary is open during daylight hours for people to meditate or pray while maintaining social distancing within the sanctuary. Father Dawson is saying mass alone daily and conducting drive-through confessions, rotating through the parish. Call 860-824-7078 and leave a message for more information or to ask about clerical services. *** The Church of the Transfiguration is still closed for the season. Right now, its earliest scheduled service is June 14.
3/21/20

The National Iron Bank is retaining its regular hours but has closed its lobby. Banking services are still available at the drive-in window, the ATM and online. Staff members are available by phone (860-542-5541).
3/20/20

Hours for the Church of Christ food pantry are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Please call 860-542-5721 when you come and wait in your car for curbside delivery. Donors are asked to follow the same procedure.
3/20/20

The Wood Creek Bar & Grill is serving take-out food only. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
3/20/20

The Berkshire Country Store is also serving take-out food only, in person or by online or telephone ordering. Groceries are available inside or for curbside delivery, and the store will deliver food free of charge to at-risk Norfolk residents. Call 860-542-5721.
3/20/20

Station Place Cafe is also serving take-out food only, supplemented with prepared entrees to pick up and take home. Contact Chef Stefanie for more information.
3/20/20

Botelle School‘s last day of school is still June 12, following Governor Lamont’s decision that school closure dates do not have to be made up. If Botelle opens again before that date, all vacations and holidays on the school calendar will be observed.
3/20/20

The Norfolk Early Learning Center (Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) is enrolling school-age children with appropriate paperwork and if space allows, since school closures on 3/13/20.
3/20/20

Although the Norfolk Library is closed until further notice, the book drop will be open for returns and wifi is available outside the building. We are not accepting book donations. Online resources such as ebooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music, online learning and links to educational and cultural resources for the family are available on our website. Please call the Library at 860-542-5075 ext. 2 (circulation desk) if you need help accessing our online resources. We will be checking our phone messages once daily Monday through Friday, so please leave your name and clearly state your phone number. We will call you back as soon as possible. You may also email us.
3/20/20

Most events scheduled from now through the end of April have been canceled or rescheduled. Likewise, schools, institutions and businesses other than those considered essential have also closed. Some changes are listed under the Local Changes tab on this page. For more information on individual events or businesses, please visit the websites belonging to each event organizer or business; see the Directory page on this site for links.

 

Governor Lamont’s definition of critical businesses, as set forth in Executive Order 7H (see the state’s coronavirus web page), “shall include, but not be limited to….essential health care operations including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, elder care and home health care workers, companies and institutions involved in the research and development, manufacture, distribution, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology therapies, health care data, consumer health products, medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, services and any other healthcare related supplies or services; essential infrastructure, including utilities, wastewater and drinking water, telecommunications, airports and transportation infrastructure; manufacturing, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, and industries supporting the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military; the defense industrial base, including aerospace, mechanical and software engineers, manufacturing/production workers, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers; essential retail, including grocery stores and big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries; pharmacies, gas stations and convenience stores; food and beverage retailers (including liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees) and restaurants, provided they comply with previous and future executive orders issued during the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency; essential services including trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing, mail and shipping services; news media; legal and accounting services; banks, insurance companies, check cashing services, and other financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services and goods necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, including pest control and landscaping services; vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and the provision of goods, services or functions necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public.”
3/21/20

Messages and information from Town Hall.

 

A Reminder: Help is available

If you and your family or Norfolk neighbors and friends are in need of assistance during this time…food, shelter, financial, transportation…please contact the Selectmen’s Office at the Town Hall by calling 860-542-5829. We have many resources available to help.
4/6/20

From the Norfolk Office of Emergency Management: How to volunteer

The Governor has created a link for citizens inquiring about volunteering and/or wishing to apply to volunteer. If you are interested in helping local and state agencies, please click here.

Thankfully, officially Norfolk continues to show only one confirmed case but we believe that number to be higher due to testing irregularities, those in self quarantine, and recent travel.

Norfolk Lions Club Ambulance members, with the assistance of our fire department, continue to protect themselves by obtaining as much personal protective equipment as they can obtain from local and state agencies. Please do not be alarmed if you see them respond to your call for assistance in a mask, gown and face shield. It is for your protection as much as theirs.

Please continue to follow the state directives in terms of isolation and limited travel, and consolidate the family shopping to one person and one trip when you can. Please consider patronizing our local businesses as safely as you can. Working together we can avoid the worst.
4/5/20

Covid-19 Statement from the First Selectman

Having been on numerous conference calls in the past two weeks, a number of Northwest Corner officials are concerned with the influx of people leaving the cities and moving to the Northwest Corner.

I am aware of the number of Norfolk second home and weekend residents who have come to Norfolk to get away from the cities. Governor Lamont has said, “Until you know you’re healthy, you’re not contagious, I’m ordering you to self-quarantine.” If you have traveled from areas where the infection rate is high, such as Italy or NYC, please quarantine yourself in your house for 14 days.

This might sound like I am singling out one group, but we all want to get through this, and we certainly want everyone to be safe and healthy so we can all enjoy what Norfolk has to offer.

Thank you for your cooperation.
3/29/20

Child Care for Essential Workers

From Norfolk’s Office of Emergency Management: For those essential workers who have questions about or are in need of child care during this time, this guidance in the form of two jpg files from the Office of Early Childhood may be helpful: Child Care for Essential Workers during the Coronavirus and Together for Kids.

Message from the First Selectman

As was previously posted, the Town Hall is closed, but we are here and encouraging people to call [860-542-5829] or send us an email.

I also wanted to let everyone know that we have signed a “Declaration of Local State of Emergency.” This was done at the suggestion of our area representative to the Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security. This will allow Norfolk to apply for any necessary equipment and funds as needed in the future.

Please abide by the Governor’s order to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.” We will get through this. If you can, please support our local businesses and the services they are offering, check on your neighbors and friends via email, text, phone or other method and get out of the house and go for a walk.

Thanks and take care,
Matt Riiska

GOVERNOR LAMONT SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ASKING CONNECTICUT BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS: ‘STAY SAFE, STAY HOME’
The governor is calling this his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” initiative. The plan recommends that state residents do the following:

1. Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 23, all non-essential businesses statewide should close;
2. Non-essential public community gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason should be canceled (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
3. If you must leave your home, do not travel in groups – groups must be limited to workers providing essential services;
4. Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible;
5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
8. Sick individuals should not leave their home except to fill critical needs or to receive medical care, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using soap and water, hand sanitizer, or isopropyl alcohol wipes. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds works best.

The businesses for which this order applies shall include, but not be limited to, the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which are available at www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors. [See also the Closings & Cancellations tab on this page.] For more information, refer to the text of the executive order.
3/23/20

Town Hall Access Restricted

At the suggestion of the State of Connecticut, Town Hall is closed to the public. We will be here conducting our regular business, as well as monitoring the Town’s needs in regards to the Covid-19 virus. We are encouraging people to call or email either the Selectmen’s office at 860-542-5829 or the Town Clerk’s Office at 860-542-5679.

For an update on the Town’s preparedness for the COVID-19 virus, please see the EMD Facebook page, Town of Norfolk, CT Emergency Management, or visit them on Twitter: @NorfolkEMD. Please follow all of the suggested precautions and be safe.
3/23/20

Statement from the Norfolk Emergency Management Office

Good afternoon to our Norfolk citizens and beyond. In these uncertain times, please be assured that our town leaders are doing everything within our ability and authority to keep our citizens safe. While we currently do not have any reported cases of Covid-19 in Norfolk, we are operating under the concept of “hope for the best but plan for the worse.” To help lessen the chance of a local outbreak, we urge Norfolk citizens to follow the suggestions of Governor Lamont with social distancing and staying home as much as possible.

Our volunteers on the ambulance and fire department have been given recent refresher training on using proper protection equipment and both departments currently have enough equipment on hand based on current transport volume with more on order. In the spirit of community collaboration, Northwestern Regional 7 High School loaned equipment to New Hartford, Winsted and Norfolk ambulances to use during this emergency. This includes sterilization equipment so that we can safely clean and reuse N-95 masks, face shields and eye protection. They also donated gowns and eye protection that they had in stock from their public health and chemistry classes.

Our emergency management officials, Richard Byrne and Jon Barbagallo, have been meeting with First Selectman Matt Riiska daily and participate in numerous conference calls each day with Governor Lamont and leaders at the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. We are in contact with our church leaders, philanthropic agencies and Botelle School to ensure that the immediate needs of our families and at-risk citizens are addressed.

We are working with our local businesses with information sharing on legal and financial resources as it becomes available. Working with the Norfolk Foundation, we have created a simple online survey that we are urging all Norfolk businesses and civic organizations to fill out as often as they have changes to their business hours or operations. The information that we receive will be shared so that Norfolk citizens can stay updated as much as possible. We also urge that you follow each business or organization’s social media and websites and shop at those stores that can stay open like the Berkshire Country Store and Wood Creek Bar & Grill.

Lastly and maybe most importantly, we are also working to ensure that basic town services go uninterrupted as much as possible. This includes Town Hall activities which can be done online, via phone or by appointment. Our town crew continues to work on road projects and our transfer station continues to be open as scheduled.

As always, you can reach out to the Selectmen’s Office with any questions, concerns, or offers of assistance that you may have: 860-542-5829.
Good health to everyone!
3/22/20

This tab lists changes in state and federal regulations, and programs to assist businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic.

 

Governor Lamont has announced a conference call this Thursday, April 9, from 1 to 2 p.m. for all business owners interested in learning more about:

• The federal Paycheck Protection Program available to small businesses and nonprofits
• The federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Grants
• Connecticut’s initiatives to assist businesses and residents during COVID-19
• The new Mortgage Deferment and Assistance
• The new Health Insurance Grace Period

To join the call, dial 888-456-0356 and, when prompted, enter the passcode 2802806#.
4/7/20

The state of Connecticut has put limits on medical charges related to Covid-19 in uninsured individuals. For more information, see Governor Lamont’s Executive Order #7U.
4/6/20

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27 includes several important benefits for small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut. For more information on the following, visit the state’s Business Resource page.

•Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: Provide cash-flow assistance through federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven.

• Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Injury Grants: An emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private nonprofits harmed by Covid-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Grants and loans may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

• Small Business Debt Relief Program: Provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under this program, the SBA will cover all loan payments on previously secured SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months.

• Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship: A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the Covid-19 crisis.

• Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes: Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.

• Counseling and Training: Local resource partners can be found here.

Two other programs for small businesses are:

• Federal Emergency Paid Leave Program: Through the end of 2020, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide 80 hours of paid sick leave and 10 weeks of paid family leave. Note that employers will be reimbursed by the IRS for 100% of the paid leave in 2 weeks or less. They will also be reimbursed for employees’ health care premiums during leave. Click here for the current IRS guidance.

• CT DOL’s Shared Work Program: Allows employers to reduce employees’ hours by up to 60% and DOL will step in to provide unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that help offset the lost wages, as well as the new federal UI supplement. More information about the program can be found here.

Benefits from many of the programs above are also available to self-employed individuals.
3/30/20

President Trump announced that the federal government guidelines for social distancing will be extended until April 30.
3/29/20

To provide emergency cash flow relief to small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the coronavirus, Connecticut’s new Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program is now offering qualifying organizations with 100 or fewer employees access to no-interest loans. Under this program, a qualifying business or nonprofit organization can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser). The $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. It will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and expedited with the administrative and underwriting support of Connecticut Innovations.

The state, working with its federal partners, has several programs and initiatives in place to assist businesses during this difficult period. For specific questions related to small business, email the Joint Information Center or call the DECD small business hotline at 860-500-2333. Individuals can call 211 for more information. For the most updated information, check ct.gov/coronavirus.com.
3/26/20

Fishing season starts now! Included in Governor Lamont’s executive order 7L is a provision that says “Notwithstanding Section 26-112 of the Connecticut General Statutes and any associated regulations, effective immediately and through the remainder of the 2020 fishing season, unless earlier modified or terminated by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, there is no closed season for fishing in the inland waters of Connecticut. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may extend or modify the open seasons for inland waters fishing without notice and public hearing and issue any implementing orders she deems necessary consistent with this order. All other regulations for fishing, including, but not limited to, licensing, stamps, methods, catch-and-release areas, creel limits and length limits shall remain in effect. Anglers shall practice social distancing measures, such as remaining six feet apart.”
3/25/20

The state Department of Motor Vehicles closed its branch offices on March 18, began offering service on line and by phone only, and extended a variety of deadlines. On March 20, it announced additional extensions and waivers. More announcements about state regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic are available here.
3/23/20

This year’s tax filing deadline for both the state of Connecticut and the federal government has been changed to July 15, 2020.
3/21/20

The federal Department of Education is temporarily waiving all interest on federally held student loans. Secretary Betsy DeVos has also directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days.
3/21/20

Connecticut’s presidential primary has been postponed until June 2. Governor Lamont’s executive order 7G says “Under my sole authority pursuant to the declaration of public health and civil preparedness emergency, and to protect the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and the most vulnerable members of our population, I hereby modify Section 9-464 of the Connecticut General Statutes to provide that on June 2, 2020 each party shall conduct a primary in each town if the names of two or more candidates for President of the United States are to be placed on such party’s ballot in accordance with the provisions of chapter 154 of the General Statutes.”
3/19/20

Links to local, state and federal Facebook pages and websites with information about the coronavirus pandemic, its effects and sources for help.

 

State of Connecticut guidance on filing for unemployment benefits

Connecticut’s page for workers and employers: unemployment, job searches, job training and education

A Practical Guide to Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic, developed by experts in medicine and infectious diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.

Town of Norfolk Office of Emergency Management on Facebook

State of Connecticut Coronavirus Updates

Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Information

Government Response to Coronavirus

Google coronavirus information page

Hartford HealthCare testing centers and policy

Centers for Disease Control recommendations for what to do if you are sick

Mental health resources (png file)

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: Fact sheets and other resources to support the health and well-being of communities affected by the pandemic, including more related to mental health.

How to volunteer during this emergency

Information for pet owners and veterinarians from the American Veterinary Medicine Association

Torrington Area Health District (procedures; office is closed to the public)

Emergency relief funding for practicing artists

State of Connecticut page of Business Resources

Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program: Emergency cash flow relief to qualifying small businesses and nonprofits negatively affected by the coronavirus

Botelle Elementary School
Northwest Regional School District 7

Here are some links to interesting sites that should carry you away into other worlds. We will add to them from time to time and, if you have any suggestions for adding to this list, we invite you to email us with the link and a brief note telling us why you enjoy it.

 

For Birders

New Zealand Department of Conservation’s Northern Royal Albatross webcam. An albatross chick grows up on Taiaroa Head; 17 hours ahead (noon EDT is 5 a.m. there).

Explore the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website or go straight to its YouTube channel.

More online bird resources from Cornell’s eBird are here. Watch and record from your house, tracking the birds you find at home to help scientists better understand bird populations where people live. And, if you do go out birding, keep yourself and others safe by following these rules.

For Gardeners

Learn and be inspired by Good Gardening Videos. This website holds more than a thousand short videos on a multitude of gardening topics.

The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden launched Botany Photo of the Day on April 5, 2005. You can browse the photos and sign up to be notified when a new one is published. The collection includes all types of plants, from trees to lichens and each is accompanied by a discussion, complete with links.

Did you know that Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society has a encyclopedic guide to garden plants on line? Anyone can browse bulbs, annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees, shrubs and other categories, and get more details on those of interest. Just remember that information, especially hardiness, is based on British growing conditions.

Planning your own vegetables this year? The Old Farmers Almanac suggests these planting dates for Norfolk.

Connecticut’s own UConn has a Home & Garden Center website that includes a useful factsheet for seed starting and a monthly email newsletter with many links to additional horticultural information.

For Music Lovers

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival has a YouTube channel you can explore. This selection is Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 iii.

The Metropolitan Opera offers a free, daily streaming service of operas from its Live in HD series. Each performance is available for 23 hours, starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

For Kids and Families

Sign up to receive free science and nature ideas for cooped up kids. Every Friday the Cornell Lab K-12 Education team will be releasing a newsletter with fun and engaging activities to keep your children’s bodies and minds active.

Art-Making Activities Families Can Do at Home (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

The Norfolk Library website has a great page of kids’ activities, many of which (like the virtual tours of Yellowstone National Park and a list of 10 museums with virtual tours) the whole family will enjoy.

NASA would like to bring you the universe. Its NASA at Home page offers kids and families a wealth of material in addition to podcasts, ebooks, virtual tours and videos that will take you out of this world.

The KidsPlay Children’s Museum in Torrington is closed during the pandemic, but you are invited to subscribe to their eblast for educational resources and ideas for fun, hands-on, playful learning activities at home.

Videos for Book Lovers

Videos from Norfolk’s 2018 Haystack Book Talks festival are available on the festival Facebook page, featuring authors like Mark Eisner, Rosa Alcala and Julian Brave NoiseCat.

Art Lectures

You can also watch videos taken at the 2019 series of art lectures, the Ethics of Color, presented last year by the Yale Norfolk School of Art with the support of Norfolk Foundation.

Visit a Museum

The Vatican offers six, 360-degree virtual tours that include the Sistine Chapel in all its glory. No airplane travel needed.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

10 more famous museums with virtual tours (thank you, Norfolk Library)

Dance and Dancing

Although Jacob’s Pillow has canceled its 2020 season, its website is worth exploring, if only for its series of illustrated essays on Women in Dance and other videos under the general heading of Dance Interactive.

More interested in ballet or dances like the waltz, the tango or the turkey trot? YouTube of course!

The Library of Congress

The New York Times clued us in to this: The Library of Congress’s YouTube channel has an eclectic…and amazing…collection of videos, including historical films, talks and interviews, tours, musical performances and past live streams. One fun film is Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, but there are many, many others to explore and enjoy.

For example: 126 videos from the 2019 National Book Festival, early films of New York and a jam session featuring Duke Ellington

More Fun Stuff

See a selfie taken on Mars

For weavers and anyone else interested in textiles, color and design, the Swedish Rug Blog is a fabulous resource. Is author, Anne Whidden, is an architectural designer who lives in New York but has Norfolk roots.

If you liked Mars, you can return via NASA’s Mars mission site. While you follow the 2020 mission, your family can try STEM activities.

Town Meetings

Did you know that many of Norfolk’s town meetings are posted on Robin Hood Radio TV’s Vimeo channel? Here is your chance to view the four most recently posted: Board of Finance, 3/10/20; Planning & Zoning, 3/10/20; Board of Education, 3/3/20, and Board of Selectmen, 3/3/20. Work your way backward to find many more Norfolk meetings.

Local Changes

This tab lists changes made by the local institutions and essential businesses that are still open or have made other arrangements to deliver their services. For a list and contact information for Norfolk organizations, institutions and businesses please see the Directory on this website.

 

The Berkshire Country Store has changed its hours to Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is also limiting purchases to credit card only (service charge if below a $5 minimum) and its register is inside the front door. An associate will be available to give you a virtual tour of the shelves if need be.
4/6/20

The Norfolk Early Learning Center is no longer enrolling new students.
4/6/20

April is Norfolk Cleanup Month. Instead of gathering for one Cleanup Day, the Community Association asks everyone to participate by themselves for the entire month. Get out and clean up your street or favorite Norfolk places, while keeping a safe distance and enjoying some fresh air. Do what you can, when you can and help keep Norfolk picture perfect!
4/2/20

Many municipal meetings have been canceled, but others, such as the selectmen’s meeting, will still take place, most likely online. For available updates, see the Meetings page on this website.
4/2/20

The Norfolk Land Trust has canceled its spring trail cleanup and postponed the bird walk originally scheduled for April 25.
4/2/20

Message to the Community from Regional 7: The Regional 7 Board of Education chair and superintendent have issued an update on work being done by the school during the coronavirus pandemic, including distance learning and the lunch and breakfast program (available in Winsted). They also describe several outreach efforts developed by the members of the school community. For example, one student has invited students and families to create cards, picture, poems and small paintings to be sent to residents at local nursing homes; she supplied suggestions and addresses. For the full message, click here.
3/31/20

All Dandelion Cottage‘s live classes, workshops and group meetings are suspended. Online classes begin in April. Go to dandelioncottagedesign.com to sign up for “NOTES from Dandelion Cottage” to receive monthly schedule for all classes, FB Lives, meetings and more. Group meetings will be held on Zoom at the regularly scheduled times.
3/30/20

Norbrook Farm Brewery is maintaining the same tasting room hours but only serving to-go orders. You can order online, by phone or in person.
3/30/20

The Mountain View Green Retreat is open to guests (hotels are essential services). However, the Manor House Inn is closed until April 8; it is still making future reservations and selling gift certificates.
3/30/20

The Governor has extended school closings until April 22. Phase One of distance learning at Botelle School was put into place on March 16. Teachers prepared and distributed individualized paper packets and devices to be used until the end of March. Phase Two of distance learning will begin on April 1. Teachers and staff are planning short lessons of live, virtual instruction with continued assignments in reading, math and writing in addition to PE, library, art and music. We will be using Google Meet for the live portion of instruction and interactive platforms like Google Classroom (in the intermediate grades) and See Saw (in all grades) for assignments.
3/24/20

Husky Meadows Farm will continue to offer CSA shares for the full season (June to October), the summer season (July & August) as well as offer our VIP debit cards for use at the farm or at the Norfolk Farmers Market. The public can sign up online at our website. We also offer a sliding scale and installment payment plans. Our harvest season will begin mid-May. As the harvest approaches, we will consider home delivery for both our CSA shares and our VIPs.
3/24/20

Meals for students are being offered during school shutdown by EdAdvance Food Service, which is working in collaboration with Region 7, Torrington and Winchester Public Schools. Meals will be provided at two locations in the area, Vogel-Wetmore School, located at 68 Church Street in Torrington, and Pearson Middle School, located at 2 Wetmore Avenue in Winsted. Meals will be provided in a drive-through fashion at both sites Monday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Any child 18 or under will be provided a Grab and Go bag lunch for that day and a breakfast for the next morning. Questions may be directed to Becky Tyrrell, Food Service Director, at 860-567-0863 ext. 1148.
3/23/20

Botelle School: Per the State of Connecticut and the Department of Education, school closures have been extended to April 22. Our school calendar will be followed for holidays, vacations and the last day of school. That means we will have April vacation as scheduled and the last day of school for students is June 12. Work has been prepared by our teachers and sent home to children to complete. In the meantime, staff is preparing for distance learning.
3/23/20

Services at the Church of Christ Congregational are being posted on the church’s Facebook page at 9:45 a.m. each Sunday. People are encouraged to join in at 10 a.m. via Facebook and interact with other viewers. Once the video is posted, it may be viewed at any time. *** No public masses are being celebrated at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. However, the church sanctuary is open during daylight hours for people to meditate or pray while maintaining social distancing within the sanctuary. Father Dawson is saying mass alone daily and conducting drive-through confessions, rotating through the parish. Call 860-824-7078 and leave a message for more information or to ask about clerical services. *** The Church of the Transfiguration is still closed for the season. Right now, its earliest scheduled service is June 14.
3/21/20

The National Iron Bank is retaining its regular hours but has closed its lobby. Banking services are still available at the drive-in window, the ATM and online. Staff members are available by phone (860-542-5541).
3/20/20

Hours for the Church of Christ food pantry are 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday. Please call 860-542-5721 when you come and wait in your car for curbside delivery. Donors are asked to follow the same procedure.
3/20/20

The Wood Creek Bar & Grill is serving take-out food only. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. daily.
3/20/20

The Berkshire Country Store is also serving take-out food only, in person or by online or telephone ordering. Groceries are available inside or for curbside delivery, and the store will deliver food free of charge to at-risk Norfolk residents. Call 860-542-5721.
3/20/20

Station Place Cafe is also serving take-out food only, supplemented with prepared entrees to pick up and take home. Contact Chef Stefanie for more information.
3/20/20

Botelle School‘s last day of school is still June 12, following Governor Lamont’s decision that school closure dates do not have to be made up. If Botelle opens again before that date, all vacations and holidays on the school calendar will be observed.
3/20/20

The Norfolk Early Learning Center (Monday through Friday, 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.) is enrolling school-age children with appropriate paperwork and if space allows, since school closures on 3/13/20.
3/20/20

Although the Norfolk Library is closed until further notice, the book drop will be open for returns and wifi is available outside the building. We are not accepting book donations. Online resources such as ebooks, e-audiobooks, movies, music, online learning and links to educational and cultural resources for the family are available on our website. Please call the Library at 860-542-5075 ext. 2 (circulation desk) if you need help accessing our online resources. We will be checking our phone messages once daily Monday through Friday, so please leave your name and clearly state your phone number. We will call you back as soon as possible. You may also email us.
3/20/20

Closings & Cancellations

Most events scheduled from now through the end of April have been canceled or rescheduled. Likewise, schools, institutions and businesses other than those considered essential have also closed. Some changes are listed under the Local Changes tab on this page. For more information on individual events or businesses, please visit the websites belonging to each event organizer or business; see the Directory page on this site for links.

 

Governor Lamont’s definition of critical businesses, as set forth in Executive Order 7H (see the state’s coronavirus web page), “shall include, but not be limited to….essential health care operations including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, elder care and home health care workers, companies and institutions involved in the research and development, manufacture, distribution, warehousing, and supplying of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology therapies, health care data, consumer health products, medical devices, diagnostics, equipment, services and any other healthcare related supplies or services; essential infrastructure, including utilities, wastewater and drinking water, telecommunications, airports and transportation infrastructure; manufacturing, including food processing, pharmaceuticals, and industries supporting the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military; the defense industrial base, including aerospace, mechanical and software engineers, manufacturing/production workers, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers; essential retail, including grocery stores and big-box stores or wholesale clubs, provided they also sell groceries; pharmacies, gas stations and convenience stores; food and beverage retailers (including liquor/package stores and manufacturer permittees) and restaurants, provided they comply with previous and future executive orders issued during the existing declared public health and civil preparedness emergency; essential services including trash and recycling collection, hauling, and processing, mail and shipping services; news media; legal and accounting services; banks, insurance companies, check cashing services, and other financial institutions; providers of basic necessities to economically disadvantaged populations; construction; vendors of essential services and goods necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and essential operations of residences or other essential businesses, including pest control and landscaping services; vendors that provide essential services or products, including logistics and technology support, child care and services needed to ensure the continuing operation of government agencies and the provision of goods, services or functions necessary for the health, safety and welfare of the public.”
3/21/20

Town Hall

Messages and information from Town Hall.

 

A Reminder: Help is available

If you and your family or Norfolk neighbors and friends are in need of assistance during this time…food, shelter, financial, transportation…please contact the Selectmen’s Office at the Town Hall by calling 860-542-5829. We have many resources available to help.
4/6/20

From the Norfolk Office of Emergency Management: How to volunteer

The Governor has created a link for citizens inquiring about volunteering and/or wishing to apply to volunteer. If you are interested in helping local and state agencies, please click here.

Thankfully, officially Norfolk continues to show only one confirmed case but we believe that number to be higher due to testing irregularities, those in self quarantine, and recent travel.

Norfolk Lions Club Ambulance members, with the assistance of our fire department, continue to protect themselves by obtaining as much personal protective equipment as they can obtain from local and state agencies. Please do not be alarmed if you see them respond to your call for assistance in a mask, gown and face shield. It is for your protection as much as theirs.

Please continue to follow the state directives in terms of isolation and limited travel, and consolidate the family shopping to one person and one trip when you can. Please consider patronizing our local businesses as safely as you can. Working together we can avoid the worst.
4/5/20

Covid-19 Statement from the First Selectman

Having been on numerous conference calls in the past two weeks, a number of Northwest Corner officials are concerned with the influx of people leaving the cities and moving to the Northwest Corner.

I am aware of the number of Norfolk second home and weekend residents who have come to Norfolk to get away from the cities. Governor Lamont has said, “Until you know you’re healthy, you’re not contagious, I’m ordering you to self-quarantine.” If you have traveled from areas where the infection rate is high, such as Italy or NYC, please quarantine yourself in your house for 14 days.

This might sound like I am singling out one group, but we all want to get through this, and we certainly want everyone to be safe and healthy so we can all enjoy what Norfolk has to offer.

Thank you for your cooperation.
3/29/20

Child Care for Essential Workers

From Norfolk’s Office of Emergency Management: For those essential workers who have questions about or are in need of child care during this time, this guidance in the form of two jpg files from the Office of Early Childhood may be helpful: Child Care for Essential Workers during the Coronavirus and Together for Kids.

Message from the First Selectman

As was previously posted, the Town Hall is closed, but we are here and encouraging people to call [860-542-5829] or send us an email.

I also wanted to let everyone know that we have signed a “Declaration of Local State of Emergency.” This was done at the suggestion of our area representative to the Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security. This will allow Norfolk to apply for any necessary equipment and funds as needed in the future.

Please abide by the Governor’s order to “Stay Safe, Stay Home.” We will get through this. If you can, please support our local businesses and the services they are offering, check on your neighbors and friends via email, text, phone or other method and get out of the house and go for a walk.

Thanks and take care,
Matt Riiska

GOVERNOR LAMONT SIGNS EXECUTIVE ORDER ASKING CONNECTICUT BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTS: ‘STAY SAFE, STAY HOME’
The governor is calling this his “Stay Safe, Stay Home” initiative. The plan recommends that state residents do the following:

1. Effective at 8PM on Sunday, March 23, all non-essential businesses statewide should close;
2. Non-essential public community gatherings of individuals of any size for any reason should be canceled (e.g. parties, celebrations or other social events) are canceled or postponed at this time;
3. If you must leave your home, do not travel in groups – groups must be limited to workers providing essential services;
4. Everyone should keep at least six feet away from each other whenever possible;
5. Businesses and entities that provide other essential services should implement rules that help facilitate social distancing of at least six feet;
6. Individuals should limit outdoor recreational activities to non-contact and avoid activities where they come in close contact with other people;
7. Individuals should limit use of public transportation to when absolutely necessary and should limit potential exposure by spacing out at least six feet from other riders;
8. Sick individuals should not leave their home except to fill critical needs or to receive medical care, and only after a telehealth visit to determine if leaving the home is in the best interest of their health;
9. Young people should also practice social distancing and avoid contact with vulnerable populations; and
10. Use precautionary sanitizer practices such as using soap and water, hand sanitizer, or isopropyl alcohol wipes. Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds works best.

The businesses for which this order applies shall include, but not be limited to, the 16 critical infrastructure sectors as defined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which are available at www.cisa.gov/critical-infrastructure-sectors. [See also the Closings & Cancellations tab on this page.] For more information, refer to the text of the executive order.
3/23/20

Town Hall Access Restricted

At the suggestion of the State of Connecticut, Town Hall is closed to the public. We will be here conducting our regular business, as well as monitoring the Town’s needs in regards to the Covid-19 virus. We are encouraging people to call or email either the Selectmen’s office at 860-542-5829 or the Town Clerk’s Office at 860-542-5679.

For an update on the Town’s preparedness for the COVID-19 virus, please see the EMD Facebook page, Town of Norfolk, CT Emergency Management, or visit them on Twitter: @NorfolkEMD. Please follow all of the suggested precautions and be safe.
3/23/20

Statement from the Norfolk Emergency Management Office

Good afternoon to our Norfolk citizens and beyond. In these uncertain times, please be assured that our town leaders are doing everything within our ability and authority to keep our citizens safe. While we currently do not have any reported cases of Covid-19 in Norfolk, we are operating under the concept of “hope for the best but plan for the worse.” To help lessen the chance of a local outbreak, we urge Norfolk citizens to follow the suggestions of Governor Lamont with social distancing and staying home as much as possible.

Our volunteers on the ambulance and fire department have been given recent refresher training on using proper protection equipment and both departments currently have enough equipment on hand based on current transport volume with more on order. In the spirit of community collaboration, Northwestern Regional 7 High School loaned equipment to New Hartford, Winsted and Norfolk ambulances to use during this emergency. This includes sterilization equipment so that we can safely clean and reuse N-95 masks, face shields and eye protection. They also donated gowns and eye protection that they had in stock from their public health and chemistry classes.

Our emergency management officials, Richard Byrne and Jon Barbagallo, have been meeting with First Selectman Matt Riiska daily and participate in numerous conference calls each day with Governor Lamont and leaders at the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. We are in contact with our church leaders, philanthropic agencies and Botelle School to ensure that the immediate needs of our families and at-risk citizens are addressed.

We are working with our local businesses with information sharing on legal and financial resources as it becomes available. Working with the Norfolk Foundation, we have created a simple online survey that we are urging all Norfolk businesses and civic organizations to fill out as often as they have changes to their business hours or operations. The information that we receive will be shared so that Norfolk citizens can stay updated as much as possible. We also urge that you follow each business or organization’s social media and websites and shop at those stores that can stay open like the Berkshire Country Store and Wood Creek Bar & Grill.

Lastly and maybe most importantly, we are also working to ensure that basic town services go uninterrupted as much as possible. This includes Town Hall activities which can be done online, via phone or by appointment. Our town crew continues to work on road projects and our transfer station continues to be open as scheduled.

As always, you can reach out to the Selectmen’s Office with any questions, concerns, or offers of assistance that you may have: 860-542-5829.
Good health to everyone!
3/22/20

State, Federal

This tab lists changes in state and federal regulations, and programs to assist businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic.

 

Governor Lamont has announced a conference call this Thursday, April 9, from 1 to 2 p.m. for all business owners interested in learning more about:

• The federal Paycheck Protection Program available to small businesses and nonprofits
• The federal Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Grants
• Connecticut’s initiatives to assist businesses and residents during COVID-19
• The new Mortgage Deferment and Assistance
• The new Health Insurance Grace Period

To join the call, dial 888-456-0356 and, when prompted, enter the passcode 2802806#.
4/7/20

The state of Connecticut has put limits on medical charges related to Covid-19 in uninsured individuals. For more information, see Governor Lamont’s Executive Order #7U.
4/6/20

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act signed on March 27 includes several important benefits for small businesses and nonprofits in Connecticut. For more information on the following, visit the state’s Business Resource page.

•Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Loans: Provide cash-flow assistance through federally-guaranteed loans to employers who maintain their payroll during this emergency. If employers maintain their payroll, the loans will be forgiven.

• Economic Injury Disaster Loans & Emergency Injury Grants: An emergency advance of up to $10,000 to small businesses and private nonprofits harmed by Covid-19 within three days of applying for an SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Grants and loans may be used to keep employees on payroll, pay for sick leave, meet increased production costs due to supply chain disruptions, or pay business obligations, including debts, rent and mortgage payments.

• Small Business Debt Relief Program: Provides immediate relief to small businesses with non-disaster SBA loans, in particular 7(a), 504, and microloans. Under this program, the SBA will cover all loan payments on previously secured SBA loans, including principal, interest, and fees, for six months.

• Employee Retention Credit for Employers Subject to Closure or Experiencing Economic Hardship: A refundable payroll tax credit for 50% of wages paid by eligible employers to certain employees during the Covid-19 crisis.

• Delay of Payment of Employer Payroll Taxes: Allows taxpayers to defer paying the employer portion of certain payroll taxes through the end of 2020, with all 2020 deferred amounts due in two equal installments, one at the end of 2021, the other at the end of 2022.

• Counseling and Training: Local resource partners can be found here.

Two other programs for small businesses are:

• Federal Emergency Paid Leave Program: Through the end of 2020, employers with fewer than 500 employees must provide 80 hours of paid sick leave and 10 weeks of paid family leave. Note that employers will be reimbursed by the IRS for 100% of the paid leave in 2 weeks or less. They will also be reimbursed for employees’ health care premiums during leave. Click here for the current IRS guidance.

• CT DOL’s Shared Work Program: Allows employers to reduce employees’ hours by up to 60% and DOL will step in to provide unemployment insurance (UI) benefits that help offset the lost wages, as well as the new federal UI supplement. More information about the program can be found here.

Benefits from many of the programs above are also available to self-employed individuals.
3/30/20

President Trump announced that the federal government guidelines for social distancing will be extended until April 30.
3/29/20

To provide emergency cash flow relief to small businesses and nonprofits negatively impacted by the coronavirus, Connecticut’s new Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program is now offering qualifying organizations with 100 or fewer employees access to no-interest loans. Under this program, a qualifying business or nonprofit organization can apply for a loan of up to $75,000 or three months of operating expenses (whichever is lesser). The $25 million short-term emergency loan program will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. It will be administered by the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) and expedited with the administrative and underwriting support of Connecticut Innovations.

The state, working with its federal partners, has several programs and initiatives in place to assist businesses during this difficult period. For specific questions related to small business, email the Joint Information Center or call the DECD small business hotline at 860-500-2333. Individuals can call 211 for more information. For the most updated information, check ct.gov/coronavirus.com.
3/26/20

Fishing season starts now! Included in Governor Lamont’s executive order 7L is a provision that says “Notwithstanding Section 26-112 of the Connecticut General Statutes and any associated regulations, effective immediately and through the remainder of the 2020 fishing season, unless earlier modified or terminated by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection, there is no closed season for fishing in the inland waters of Connecticut. The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection may extend or modify the open seasons for inland waters fishing without notice and public hearing and issue any implementing orders she deems necessary consistent with this order. All other regulations for fishing, including, but not limited to, licensing, stamps, methods, catch-and-release areas, creel limits and length limits shall remain in effect. Anglers shall practice social distancing measures, such as remaining six feet apart.”
3/25/20

The state Department of Motor Vehicles closed its branch offices on March 18, began offering service on line and by phone only, and extended a variety of deadlines. On March 20, it announced additional extensions and waivers. More announcements about state regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic are available here.
3/23/20

This year’s tax filing deadline for both the state of Connecticut and the federal government has been changed to July 15, 2020.
3/21/20

The federal Department of Education is temporarily waiving all interest on federally held student loans. Secretary Betsy DeVos has also directed federal lenders to allow borrowers to suspend their student loan payments without penalty for at least the next 60 days.
3/21/20

Connecticut’s presidential primary has been postponed until June 2. Governor Lamont’s executive order 7G says “Under my sole authority pursuant to the declaration of public health and civil preparedness emergency, and to protect the health and safety of voters, poll workers, and the most vulnerable members of our population, I hereby modify Section 9-464 of the Connecticut General Statutes to provide that on June 2, 2020 each party shall conduct a primary in each town if the names of two or more candidates for President of the United States are to be placed on such party’s ballot in accordance with the provisions of chapter 154 of the General Statutes.”
3/19/20

Resources

Links to local, state and federal Facebook pages and websites with information about the coronavirus pandemic, its effects and sources for help.

 

State of Connecticut guidance on filing for unemployment benefits

Connecticut’s page for workers and employers: unemployment, job searches, job training and education

A Practical Guide to Staying Safe During the Coronavirus Pandemic, developed by experts in medicine and infectious diseases at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Mass.

Town of Norfolk Office of Emergency Management on Facebook

State of Connecticut Coronavirus Updates

Centers for Disease Control Coronavirus Information

Government Response to Coronavirus

Google coronavirus information page

Hartford HealthCare testing centers and policy

Centers for Disease Control recommendations for what to do if you are sick

Mental health resources (png file)

Center for the Study of Traumatic Stress: Fact sheets and other resources to support the health and well-being of communities affected by the pandemic, including more related to mental health.

How to volunteer during this emergency

Information for pet owners and veterinarians from the American Veterinary Medicine Association

Torrington Area Health District (procedures; office is closed to the public)

Emergency relief funding for practicing artists

State of Connecticut page of Business Resources

Connecticut Recovery Bridge Loan Program: Emergency cash flow relief to qualifying small businesses and nonprofits negatively affected by the coronavirus

Botelle Elementary School
Northwest Regional School District 7

Just for Fun

Here are some links to interesting sites that should carry you away into other worlds. We will add to them from time to time and, if you have any suggestions for adding to this list, we invite you to email us with the link and a brief note telling us why you enjoy it.

 

For Birders

New Zealand Department of Conservation’s Northern Royal Albatross webcam. An albatross chick grows up on Taiaroa Head; 17 hours ahead (noon EDT is 5 a.m. there).

Explore the Cornell Lab of Ornithology website or go straight to its YouTube channel.

More online bird resources from Cornell’s eBird are here. Watch and record from your house, tracking the birds you find at home to help scientists better understand bird populations where people live. And, if you do go out birding, keep yourself and others safe by following these rules.

For Gardeners

Learn and be inspired by Good Gardening Videos. This website holds more than a thousand short videos on a multitude of gardening topics.

The University of British Columbia Botanical Garden launched Botany Photo of the Day on April 5, 2005. You can browse the photos and sign up to be notified when a new one is published. The collection includes all types of plants, from trees to lichens and each is accompanied by a discussion, complete with links.

Did you know that Britain’s Royal Horticultural Society has a encyclopedic guide to garden plants on line? Anyone can browse bulbs, annuals, perennials, vegetables, trees, shrubs and other categories, and get more details on those of interest. Just remember that information, especially hardiness, is based on British growing conditions.

Planning your own vegetables this year? The Old Farmers Almanac suggests these planting dates for Norfolk.

Connecticut’s own UConn has a Home & Garden Center website that includes a useful factsheet for seed starting and a monthly email newsletter with many links to additional horticultural information.

For Music Lovers

The Norfolk Chamber Music Festival has a YouTube channel you can explore. This selection is Schumann’s Piano Quartet in E-flat Major, Op. 44 iii.

The Metropolitan Opera offers a free, daily streaming service of operas from its Live in HD series. Each performance is available for 23 hours, starting at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

For Kids and Families

Sign up to receive free science and nature ideas for cooped up kids. Every Friday the Cornell Lab K-12 Education team will be releasing a newsletter with fun and engaging activities to keep your children’s bodies and minds active.

Art-Making Activities Families Can Do at Home (Museum of Modern Art, New York)

The Norfolk Library website has a great page of kids’ activities, many of which (like the virtual tours of Yellowstone National Park and a list of 10 museums with virtual tours) the whole family will enjoy.

NASA would like to bring you the universe. Its NASA at Home page offers kids and families a wealth of material in addition to podcasts, ebooks, virtual tours and videos that will take you out of this world.

The KidsPlay Children’s Museum in Torrington is closed during the pandemic, but you are invited to subscribe to their eblast for educational resources and ideas for fun, hands-on, playful learning activities at home.

Videos for Book Lovers

Videos from Norfolk’s 2018 Haystack Book Talks festival are available on the festival Facebook page, featuring authors like Mark Eisner, Rosa Alcala and Julian Brave NoiseCat.

Art Lectures

You can also watch videos taken at the 2019 series of art lectures, the Ethics of Color, presented last year by the Yale Norfolk School of Art with the support of Norfolk Foundation.

Visit a Museum

The Vatican offers six, 360-degree virtual tours that include the Sistine Chapel in all its glory. No airplane travel needed.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

10 more famous museums with virtual tours (thank you, Norfolk Library)

Dance and Dancing

Although Jacob’s Pillow has canceled its 2020 season, its website is worth exploring, if only for its series of illustrated essays on Women in Dance and other videos under the general heading of Dance Interactive.

More interested in ballet or dances like the waltz, the tango or the turkey trot? YouTube of course!

The Library of Congress

The New York Times clued us in to this: The Library of Congress’s YouTube channel has an eclectic…and amazing…collection of videos, including historical films, talks and interviews, tours, musical performances and past live streams. One fun film is Popeye the Sailor Meets Sindbad the Sailor, but there are many, many others to explore and enjoy.

For example: 126 videos from the 2019 National Book Festival, early films of New York and a jam session featuring Duke Ellington

More Fun Stuff

See a selfie taken on Mars

For weavers and anyone else interested in textiles, color and design, the Swedish Rug Blog is a fabulous resource. Is author, Anne Whidden, is an architectural designer who lives in New York but has Norfolk roots.

If you liked Mars, you can return via NASA’s Mars mission site. While you follow the 2020 mission, your family can try STEM activities.

Town Meetings

Did you know that many of Norfolk’s town meetings are posted on Robin Hood Radio TV’s Vimeo channel? Here is your chance to view the four most recently posted: Board of Finance, 3/10/20; Planning & Zoning, 3/10/20; Board of Education, 3/3/20, and Board of Selectmen, 3/3/20. Work your way backward to find many more Norfolk meetings.